the source of great art?

topic posted Wed, November 9, 2005 - 10:20 PM by  Unsubscribed
"Ironically, today's fashion magazines and supermodels, embodying the cult of beauty for a mass audience, are in the main line of art history."

"I would argue that great art comes only from mutilated egos."

"All art belongs to its social context, but great art by definition transcends that context and speaks universally."

CP, The New Sexism: Liberating Art And Beauty, 1993

These quotes from an essay in the Washington Post are out of context, but raise some interesting points for discussion, I think. To the first quote, I would say that fantasy/sci-fi art and comics/graphic novels are perhaps more in the main of art history these days.

Great art is transcendant, I agree, but whether that requires the artist to have a "mutilated ego" is a point of debate. There would seem to be other developed perceptions in a great artist, such as empathy and cognizance.

Well, let's hear from the tribe on this. What makes great art, and what is leading the direction of art history, in your opinion? Aloha.
posted by:
  • Re: the source of great art?

    Thu, November 17, 2005 - 11:18 AM
    great art is exceptional by definition, and therefore seldom created by midlings
    • Unsu...

      Re: the source of great art?

      Sat, November 19, 2005 - 12:38 AM
      what is a midling, exactly? i think everyone has the capacity to experience moments of exceptional insight and inspiration that can become artistic expression. whether these expressions can be defined as great art is point for discussion, i suppose. what do you see as exceptional in great art?
      • Re: the source of great art?

        Mon, November 21, 2005 - 10:08 PM
        great art goes beyond inspiration. i agree we all have those moments, but the technical ability to mix words, colors, material, images in order to communicate them is not accessible to everyone. when you combine both, the inspiration and the technical ability, you get great art, and that is scarce
        • Unsu...

          Re: the source of great art?

          Mon, November 21, 2005 - 10:34 PM
          i like your definition, but would appreciate your elucidation of the term "technical ability." is this ability something that you see as innate or learned or both?

          i wonder how scarce great art really is, given the vast collections of works in museums around the world, as well as all that is never displayed. however, if a great work is never seen, does it ever become great?

          thanks for the thoughts. aloha.
  • Unsu...

    Re: the source of great art?

    Wed, November 30, 2005 - 11:50 AM
    In all of my art or art related courses in college, we are always first challenged to come up with a definition of what art is. I think I usually settle on" Art is a metaphorical representation of the human condition." So if I am to define great "metaphorical representation of the human condition" I must keep a few things in mind. One, my personal comprehension of the human condition and Two, the relative affect the art in question has on my perception. I don't think that by that definition, great art can be across the board "great" for all who perceive it. Its impact is very limited to the viewers perspective. So I may look at "great art" and somebody else sees "crap". I think if ever there was a single piece of art that was so compelling that anyone and everyone who perceives it understands it to be with out exception the perfect representation of the human condition, we would be straying into realms of "metaphysics or religion". I think great art, is any art that greatly effects the viewer in a profound way, regardless of the art's medium.

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